This moving book about the loss of a grandparent makes me cry every time I read it. It’s beautifully written and the vibrant illustrations are just stunning.
The poetic story follows a young girl through the seasons as she has wonderful adventures with her grandad. Together they explore the great outdoors, go to the beach, play cars and share stories.
But her grandad is ill and she wishes there is something she could do to make him stay by her side. She dreams of planting his birthdays in the ground so that he can’t get old or healing him just by listening to the tall tales from his youth.
Then the day arrives when she comes home to her Grandad’s empty chair.
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But what do you do when your Grandma gives you a lemon tree for your birthday and you’d secretly been hoping for a drone or a remote control car? You definitely shouldn’t pull a face and you certainly shouldn’t drop it off a bridge!
The little girl in this story is quite confused about her unusual gift but she has good manners so she knows how she should react (and also how she shouldn’t!). She manages an excited face and she maintains her smile until Grandma falls asleep, but she really doesn’t have a clue what to do with her lemon tree.
However as the pages progress we see her build a special bond with her new present. She keeps it in the sun, waters it and makes sure the neighbourhood slugs maintain a safe distance. She keeps it warm in winter, repots it and slowly watches it grow. And when she gets her first batch of lemons, Grandma is the first person she wants to share them with.
A little girl and her grandmother sit down together to look through a treasured book of memories. The grandmother explains what when she was a little girl everything was magical – colours were bright, grass was ten feet tall, there was music everywhere and life was a celebration. But sadly as she has got older, life has got greyer and she doesn’t think the magic exists anymore.
Upon hearing this, her granddaughter takes her hand and they lift up in to the sky. She takes her grandmother on a tour of the world as seen through her own eyes, and there is magic everywhere! They see faces in raindrops, listen to heartbeats in the mountains, dip their toes in to a river of seahorses and attend a birthday party for a flower.
Since discovering the joy that is Tracey Corderoy, Ivy and I have been on a mission to read all of her books. We have devoured all of the Shifty McGifty picture books and now we are loving this Hubble Bubble series about a very unusual grandparent.
The little girl in the story wants to tel us all about her Granny, who happens to be a little bit different. She dresses all in black, has a pointy hat, keeps frogs and bats as pets and the food she serves is extremely unconventional! She loves her granny but sometimes she wishes she could be a little bit more like the kind of grannies her friends have.
She suggests to her Granny that it might be fun to have a makeover day together and she sets about making little changes which she thinks will make her more ‘normal’. They knit some hats together, travel in to town by bus (rather than broomstick!), buy some new clothes and get their hair done. By the time they are finished, her Granny looks just like all the other grannies in the street.
Grandad’s Island is one of those books that I think every child should read. It covers the sensitive topic of bereavement but in a really smart and beautiful way which helps the child grasp the concept as best they can at a young age.
The story is about a little a little boy called Syd whose beloved Grandad lives in a house at the bottom of the garden. One day Syd pops around but he can’t find his Grandad anywhere. He searches the house and eventually finds him up in the attic where he has prepared an adventure.
They go through a magical door which takes them to a ship and then sail the oceans until they reach a tropical island. Look closely at the illustrations and you can see that the wonderful treasures on the island echo the pictures and keepsakes you see in Grandad’s house in the first few pages. On this island Grandad is surrounded by all of his favourite things – and he doesn’t need to use his walking stick to get around anymore! They build a shack, swim together in the waterfall and play with all of the exciting animals they find.